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All you need to know about travel to, from, and within Switzerland this Easter

Helena Bachmann
Helena Bachmann - [email protected]
All you need to know about travel to, from, and within Switzerland this Easter
Expect airports to be more crowded than usual. Image by ilaria piras from Pixabay

As is the case before any major public holiday, roads and airports will be more congested than normally. What can you expect in Switzerland in the days leading up to (and after) Easter?


Whether you travel by car, train, or plane, chances are you will not have a totally hassle-free experience, because traffic and sheer numbers of commuters will be heavier than usual.

This is what you should know, and do, if you are setting out on a journey during the Easter break.

First: if you are heading to Ticino

If, like tens of thousands of other residents of Switzerland, you want to spend the holiday in Ticino, there are some things you should know about travelling through the Gotthard tunnel.

READ ALSO: Why is Ticino Switzerland’s favourite Easter destination? 

Just before, during, and after this holiday, traffic is jammed at the tunnel, which connects Swiss-German part of Switzerland with Ticino, so five new measures were adopted on March 20th to help diffuse the bottlenecks.

Göschenen entrance

It will be closed if the traffic jam is at least three km long. This measure reduces alternative traffic on the cantonal road from Erstfeld to Wassen/Göschenen.

Wassen entrance

It will also closed if the bottleneck is three km long. Additionally, this closure will prevent holidaymakers from taking an alternative route via cantonal roads.

'Opening window' at the Göschenen entrance

In the event of a three-km traffic jam, the entrance will be opened for vehicles four times a day for 15 minutes each : from 6:45 am to 7 am., from 8:15 am to 8:30 am., from 5:15 pm to 5:30 pm, and from 6:45 pm to 7 pm.

Speed reduction

If the traffic jam reaches 8 km, a speed limit of 80 km/h will apply on the A2 (Gotthard) between Altdorf and Amsteg.


In Erstfeld and Amsteg, exits will be gradually opened based on the traffic load on the cantonal roads.

These measures will be in effect from March 20th and are expected to end when the Gotthard Pass opens in mid-May.


Traffic on other roads

As it does each year at this time, the Federal Roads Office (FEDRO)  publishes warnings of expected disruptions not only on the Gotthard, but also  on the A13, which the San Bernardino axis.

Disruptions are to be expected in particular on the following roads:

A1, Harkingen – Wangen a.A.
A1/A6, Bern region
A1, Geneva (at Bardonnex customs)
A9, Lausanne area
A2, Basel
A2, Diegten–Härkingen
A2/A14, Lucerne region 
A2, Erstfeld – Biasca (Gothard road tunnel)
A2, Chiasso (at the border crossing to Italy)
A3, Walenstadt–Reichenburg
A6, Bern - Thun
A8, Brienz – Interlaken – Spiez
A8, Sarnen – Lopper interchange
A9, Vallorbe (at the border crossing)
A9, Vevey-Martigny
A12, Châtel-St-Denis – La Veyre / Vevey interchange
A13, Sarganserland–Rothenbrunnen
A13, Andeer – Mesocco
A28, Landquart–Klosters

Main roads

Spiez – Kandersteg 
Raron – Brig

In addition, expect heavy traffic in Bernese Oberland, Graubünden, Valais, as well as at various border crossing points.


What about air travel?

If you are going to be catching a plane, be prepared for long lines at the airport because Easter and spring school break are among the peak travel times in Switzerland.  

The situation will be chaotic at all of Switzerland’s airports: Zurich, Geneva, and EuroAirport

You probably won’t be able to totally avoid the crowds, so to be at the airport between two and three hours before departure.

Train travel

If you prefer to travel to Ticino by train, you will be happy to know that the national railway, SBB, is putting additional trains into service for Easter.

It is adding 49 trains to circulate between the Swiss-German part of the country and the Italian-speaking canton.

Some of the trains will run through the Gotthard Base Tunnel, which has partially re-opened to traffic after an accident caused its closure in August 2023.

The SBB recommends seat reservations for all trains this Easter.

All other public transportation will run as well, though it may operate on a limited ‘Sunday’ schedule on Good Friday and Easter Sunday.


What else should you pay attention to?

Before you make plans to travel to your destination, check whether any industrial actions, especially those related to transport sector, are planned anywhere along your route.

Right now, we know that Valencia airport will be impacted by a strike over Easter weekend, as staff unions will stage two-hour walkouts from March 28th to April 1st, between 11am and 1pm each day. 

You can check the list of impending strikes in Europe here

READ ALSO: What will be open in Switzerland over the Easter holiday weekend?


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